World Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury has reiterated his intention to return to the WWE in the future, sparking a feud with superstar Drew McIntyre.
The self-styled Gypsy King made headlines when he touched down in the WWE in 2019, beating Braun Strowman by KO in Saudi Arabia in October. He followed that up by returning to boxing and beating Deontay Wilder at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Nevada in February 2020, winning the WBC Heavyweight title. Whilst the boxing world waits for news of his next fight in their ring, he seems set on returning to the squared circle of the WWE.
“Been sitting on the train on my own after a long, busy weekend and I’m thinking about the people that I want to punch in the face,” he tweeted recently, as reported by What Culture. “The first one that springs to mind is a big fella called Drew McIntyre. Now Drew, you’ve been having quite a bit to say about me lately. I love to punch your face in honestly.”
Fury’s words seem to signal a return to the WWE, likely to be after his next blockbuster fight, whoever the opponent may be. Fury’s next opponent is currently unclear, although he is due to face either Deontay Wilder in their third matchup or Anthony Joshua in a unification fight sometime in 2021 with Bwin having him favorite to win both. Whoever steps up to face the enigmatic Brit will be going toe to toe with a true showman, equally as comfortable in either discipline, having mastered the art of both combat and showmanship.
He is not the only boxer to have made an impact in the WWE over the years though. So, we have collected a handful of other fighters who have crossed over, with varying degrees of success.
Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather was already a huge star when he chose to step into the WWE. He had defeated Ricky Hatton only a few months before his showing at WrestleMania 24, where he knocked out The Big Show, after breaking the 7ft behemoth’s nose at No Way Out.
It was feared the bout might lack the edge desired by fans, but that was not the case. Mayweather injected his typically brash personality into his matchup, and it is generally regarded as a huge success, both for the WWE and Mayweather as a personality.
One of the most famous crossovers came when a celebrity boxer, namely Clubber Lang from the Rocky III movie, stepped into WrestleMania 1. Mr T played the fighter in the Sylvester Stallone movie, with Hulk Hogan also starring. When WrestleMania launched, Vince McMahon needed star quality and he pitched Mr. T and Hulk Hogan into battle against Rowdy Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff.
Mr. T appeared a year later in a straight boxing match with Piper, but it disappointed. However, the actor’s involvement continued throughout WWE history, with him being inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014.
Tyson, the self-styled ‘Baddest Man on the Planet’ appeared in the WWE in 1998 on Monday Night Raw. He signed a mega-bucks deal thought to be worth $3.5m, but his appearance helped swing the battle for ratings away from WCW. He feuded with superstar Stone Cold Steve Austin, as well as acting as a ring enforcer at WrestleMania 14.
Tyson is a bonafide superstar in his own right and a huge draw for fans. His involvement is credited with turning the fortunes of the promotion around after challenging months in the early exchanges of the Monday Night Wars.